Published July 4, 2024

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

How to Identify and Assess Potential Leaders

Sustainability in business is not a responsibility that can be carried out by a single individual, it involves a collective effort, a successful transition of authority, and leadership roles. A proper succession plan is a key factor that should be drafted in the business plan of every company before even starting the business. 

What Every Business Leader Needs to Know About Talent Management 

An effective succession plan incorporates strategies to precisely identify leadership skills and potential in employees. Unfortunately only about one-third of organizational leaders in a recent global succession management study displayed confidence in their successors. 

The reason for this is not far-fetched as many organizational leaders make decisions based on performance, rather than potential. Although performance rates are important, it is not to be confused with high potential.

While potential is a term describing the capabilities of a person that can be developed, performance, on the other hand, is the completion of different tasks assigned to a person. Often, companies focus on performance appraisal instead of potential appraisal, and this eventually leads to wrong succession planning.  

An employee with high potential can effectively lead and improve the development of teams, thereby steadily increasing the overall output performance of a company. Simply put, a high potential employee will always perform highly, but a high-performance employee may not always have high potential.

Qualities to Look Out for When Identifying and Accessing Leadership Potential 

There are key indicators that help managers and organizational leaders in the identification and assessment of employees who possess potential. Below are some of these indicators. 

Agility in Learning 

The ability to quickly learn and efficiently implement that which was learned is a major indicator of an employee with leadership potential. This learning agility is healthy for the organization as it creates room for the adoption of new useful trends.

Effective Communication 

Great leaders are those who can effectively communicate their feelings, thoughts, and emotions in the workplace without causing a commotion. Those with this ability can provide a healthy work environment for staff members, where everyone’s ideas can be heard without fear of prejudice or judgment. 

Logic and Reasoning 

Employees who demonstrate this analytical skill will make great contributions to the organization. The ability to logically examine situations and make prompt effective decisions in those situations will help in increasing the productivity of all staff members. 

Accountability and Transparency 

Individuals with leadership potential own up to their responsibilities and mistakes. Rather than cast blame when things go wrong, they are accountable for their decisions and respond by seeking out solutions to solve challenges.Furthermore, they are often seen to display high levels of honesty, integrity, and other leadership skills aimed at improving the quality of service in the company. 

Methods Necessary to Expose High Potential Leaders to Development Opportunities 

Identifying these leadership potentials is not enough. Managers and organizational leaders need to ensure that employees who exhibit such traits are trained to maximize their full potential with an effective talent management strategy. 

There are various ways to develop high potential. By communicating their worth, changing cultural mindsets, forming top talent peer groups, and many more, these individuals can be coached to the fullest maximization of their skills. Below are three of the best strategies.

Providing a Global Exposure 

After the identification of future successive leaders, one way to fully develop potential is to provide a platform where they can be exposed to the integral parts of the industry. This exposure will broaden their perspective and prepare them to take on leadership roles.

Providing a Coach 

Professional coaching is one of the best ways to maximize potential. An employee who already possesses the necessary skills, ought to be provided with a coaching platform that offers guidance to consciously align their personal and professional goals to improve and reach their potential. Contact a career coaching platform for more information. 

Delegating Responsibilities 

The delegation of duties can also be a way of testing these individuals with leadership roles in preparation for the future. This method gives them first-hand experience of the responsibilities that come with being a leader, thus equipping them with the knowledge they require to lead.


Identifying and assessing employees who possess this ability is crucial for the progressive future of every organization. According to research, high potential workers have ninety-one percent more value than other workers.

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